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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Turning Point: Watson's slow start, solid finish

Turning Point: Watson's slow start, solid finish

By Harish Kotian
May 28, 2018 09:30 IST
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Shane Watson

IMAGE: Chennai Super Kings opener Shane Watson celebrates his century in the IPL final against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Photograph: BCCI

The Chennai Super Kings surprised many when they opted for an ageing squad for IPL-11, but captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's gamble paid off handsomely as his warhorses triumphed against all odds to deliver CSK's third IPL crown.

In crunch situations, CSK's experienced veterans -- Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina and Dhoni himself -- stood out as they pulled off victories from difficult situations.

In Sunday's final at the Wankhede stadium, Watson -- who turns 37 on June 17 -- showed his pedigree as he smashed a brilliant 117 not out from 57 balls to help CSK crush Sunrisers Hyderabad by 8 wickets.

It was a bittersweet moment for CSK who made a comeback to the IPL after serving a two-year ban.

 

Electing to bowl in the title clash, CSK bowlers restricted the Sunrisers to a modest 178/6.

But CSK stuttered in reply as Faf failed and Watson took time to get going, getting off the mark with the 11th ball he faced.

Then the Aussie launched a blistering counter-attack to overpower the much heralded SRH bowling attack.

It rained sixes and fours at the Wankhede as Watson smashed his way to 50 from just 33 balls.

He smashed Sandeep Sharma for 26 runs in the 13th over that put CSK firmly on the expressway to victory.

Watson's century came from just 51 balls as CSK romped home with 9 balls and 8 wickets in hand.

His 117-run second wicket partnership with Suresh Raina, who stroked 32 from 24 balls, laid the foundation for CSK's easy run chase.

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Harish Kotian / Rediff.com

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